NETGEAR HAS BEEN doing very well in our tests, and this tirpe around too, it stole the show. The WNR834B won our previous shootout, and it kept that strong performance going to win this one as well. This was on.e of only two draft-N routers tested. We tested draft-N performance, as well as the standard 802.11G performance. The Netgear WNR834B hides all three of its antennae inside the case. This gives the router a nice clean look, and makes it easy to place in a bookshelf or on a desk. However, the design means that you can't adjust the antennae's position for better signal strength. The WNR834B includes the typical power port, four LAN jacks, one WAN jack, and'a pinhole reset button on its back edge. It can stand vertically, but it does not have any mounting brackets, so you can't hang it on a wall.
Setting up the router is very easy. There's a CD that has an easy setup wizard, or you can choose to configure it through the Web-based interface. Netgear makes the latter method simple by enabling you to type in the easier to remenber,though you can still use the device's IP address (192.168.1.1) should you choose. It also detects your LAN settings, so in case you already have a device running with that IP, it automatically switches to a different IP. This is a nice touch, and can potentially save quite a lot of troubleshooting time. The router has all the standard features, and these are easy to configure, with adequate help in the interface.
The router performed well at shorter ranges. The internal antennae do cut down on range, but within a radius of about thirty feet, it did quite well. This was with three walls in between, so as long as you don't want to cover a large, multi-storied building, it does a good job. It did well with multiple clients connected, touching a maximum of S3 Mbps. Surprisingly, these speeds were higher than when we used just a single draft-N client; that topped out at 41 Mbps. The firmware updates are responsible for the improved mixed mode performance, and it is a welcome improve¬ment, considering that most environments are going to be a mix of draft-N and G clients for a longish while yet.